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Photography: Why do I do it?

The title of this post should say it all. I'm going to talk about why I practice photography. 

When I first started becoming interested in photography, my reasons were simple: I could enter contests, get exposure, sell my work. This could really help me when I start going to college!

Then all of a sudden, I was in college, and photography hadn't helped me at all. Money wise, at least. I grew disheartened, and my fiery passion for photography started to slowly go out. I was still taking photographs, but my initial reasons why I started felt irrelevant to me because it felt like no one was interested in what I was doing. I made a few sales on some photo prints, but that was it. But I hadn't given up yet. I started to ask myself questions: Do I need to be more vocal on social media? Do I need to talk about it more in general? I don't want to spam people, but how do I let them know about my work without being spammy? Should I start a photo book to earn a little more? I started to answer these little by little, but everything came to a sudden halt when one day, my laptop started acting funny.

By funny, it wouldn't turn on. I tried plugging the charger in, figuring it just wasn't charged enough to turn on, but that didn't work either. After a lot of searching on my phone, I came to the conclusion that my laptop was, in fact, dead. And, I hadn't backed up any of my newest pictures. I was hoping against all hope that when it was taken into the shop, somehow, my pictures could be recovered. But they couldn't. And I had to shell out a bunch of money to fix a computer I didn't want anymore because all my new (and old) pictures were gone. I'd have to start all over, and I didn't want to.

My problem was that I was (and still have been) focusing on making money to help me with college and other personal needs. I started practicing my photography again for the same reason as before. But it wasn't until yesterday that I sat down and asked myself why I practice photography. If it was just to gain a little cash, then photography wouldn't really be my passion, as I've been claiming for the past several years. However, when I sat down last night, I figured out some reasons as to why I practice photography.

  • It lets me be creative. This is very obvious, but I had gotten so caught up in making money for my photos that I forgot! I can look at something and come up with an idea as to how I can make a good picture out of it. Or, I have an idea in my head and I can replicate that idea as best I can with the equipment available to me. I can also improvise if I don't have the "proper" equipment. I will experiment on something again and again until I get what I want, or it just doesn’t work out.
  • It helps me be productive. Photography is an art. There's a lot of technical work that goes in to getting a really good photo. I'm not an expert, but I know some of the technical things in the camera that will help a photographer get a high quality picture. I apply these things as best as I can, and try to improve every time I go shooting. Further, there's equipment photographers can use that will help even more in getting a high quality photo. (lights, soft box, reflectors, etc.). I have some equipment, and it's one of my goals to learn how to use it so I can produce better photographs.
  • It takes my mind off things I may be worrying about. Focusing on something like photography is a great way to take a break; it distracts me from whatever problems real life is throwing at me. I suffer from anxiety, and I have days where it's not too bad. But then I have days where it really, really sucks. By focusing my attention on sharpening my photography skills, I don't think about how anxious I am about something. Additionally, coupling photography with writing, like I'm doing now, also keeps my mind occupied. 
  • I simply enjoy it. Photography stops time. It captures a moment and preserves it for an eternity. That's how I look at it, at least. When I look back on my old pictures, whether it's of my best friend when I took her senior graduation portraits, or a picture of my cat, it takes me back. It's a time machine that teleports your mind to what happened in that particular moment.
In short, photography is more than just making money to help myself. It's about expression, and preserving memories. 😊 That's what keeps me from "quitting" photography ever again.

I hope you all are having a great day/evening today. I will see you in the next post!


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